Metsä Board’s comparable operating result in 2022 January–September was EUR 420 million

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Metsä Board Corporation Interim report January–September 27 October 2022 at 12:00 noon EET

January–September 2022 (compared to 1–9/2021)

  • Sales were EUR 1,879.7 million (1,565.6).
  • The comparable operating result was EUR 420.0 million (295.3), or 22.3% of sales (18.9). Operating result was EUR 436.8 million (285.0).
  • Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.90 (0.65), and earnings per share were EUR 0.94 (0.63).
  • Comparable return on capital employed was 23.0% (19.4).
  • Net cash flow from operations was EUR 161.7 million (209.8).

July–September 2022 (compared to 7–9/2021)

  • Sales were EUR 647.3 million (516.1).
  • The comparable operating result was EUR 152.5 million (104.0), or 23.6% (20.1) of sales. Operating result was EUR 153.4 million (99.4).
  • Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.33 (0.23), and earnings per share were EUR 0.33 (0.22).
  • Comparable return on capital employed was 24.7% (19.1).
  • Net cash flow from operations was EUR 66.4 million (59.1).

Events in July–September 2022

  • The demand for Metsä Board’s folding boxboard remained stable in Europe and North America. The demand for white kraftliners slowed down slightly in Europe.
  • The average prices of paperboards in euros increased from the second quarter.
  • Cost inflation continued to be rapid. The rise in costs was faster than expected, especially in energy and chemicals.
  • Despite the increasingly tight market situation of birch pulpwood, wood deliveries have flowed well to Metsä Board’s mills.
  • Russia’s war in Ukraine did not have a significant impact on Metsä Board’s profitability in the third quarter or on the company’s financial position at the end of September.
  • Metsä Board started pre-engineering for new folding boxboard mill in Kaskinen, Finland. The mill’s planned annual capacity is 800,000 tonnes. A potential investment decision could be made in 2024 at the earliest.

Near-term outlook

Demand for fresh fibre paperboards is expected to remain stable in the company’s main market areas in Europe and North America. The slowdown in global economic growth and decrease in consumer’s purchasing power create uncertainty in the operating environment.

Metsä Board’s paperboard delivery volumes in October–December are expected to remain at roughly the same level as in July–September (454,000 tonnes). The seasonal decline in demand in December may affect delivery volumes to some extent. The average prices of paperboards are expected to increase slightly.

Demand for long-fibre market pulp is expected to remain stable in Europe and China. The global supply of market pulp will continue to be restricted by bottlenecks in logistics. A stronger than expected slowdown in global economic growth and especially that of China, as well as the negative impacts of the European energy crisis, are creating uncertainty about the development of the market situation.

Cost inflation continues, especially in chemicals and energy. Other variable costs are expected to remain at least at the same level as in the third quarter. The increase in wood prices seen in the first half of the year, as well as the higher harvesting and transport costs are expected to lead to higher wood costs in the second half of the year than in the first half.

The negative result impact of the mills’ annual maintenance shutdowns in October–December 2022 is greater than in July–September 2022.

In October–December 2022, exchange rate fluctuations, including the impact of hedges, will have a positive impact on the result compared to July–September 2022 and a clearly positive impact compared to October–December 2021.

Result guidance for October–December 2022

Metsä Board’s comparable operating result in October–December 2022 is expected to be weaker than in July–September 2022.

Metsä Board’s CEO Mika Joukio:

“Our result in July–September was again strong. Sales amounted to EUR 647 million, and our comparable operating result, totalling EUR 153 million, was record high. The comparable return on capital employed was 24.7%. The exceptionally strong demand for fresh fibre paperboards, which began last year, normalised towards the end of the review period, as was seen in the third quarter delivery volumes – especially in white kraftliners. However, the average prices of paperboards increased, compensating for the faster than expected cost increase especially in energy and chemicals.

Our sales in January–September totalled nearly EUR 1.9 billion, and our comparable operating result was EUR 420 million. Our profitability improved especially due to the higher prices of paperboards, our strong pulp business and a positive currency effect. The production volumes of paperboards, as well as of pulp and BCTMP were record high.

Cost inflation continued to be rapid, and we do not expect it to slow down significantly in the near future. High inflation and rising interest rates are quickly eroding households’ purchasing power. Consumers’ confidence in the economy is at a record low, which is reflected in purchasing behaviour. The main end uses of Metsä Board’s paperboards are in food and other daily consumer goods, where demand has remained relatively stable despite the economic cycles.

Europe is dealing with an unprecedented energy crisis, which may influence the availability and prices of energy this winter. Metsä Board’s high energy self-sufficiency is a clear competitive advantage, adding stability to our operations in a challenging market environment. The new recovery boiler and turbine that will shortly start up in Husum will increase our own bioenergy production, moving us closer to our goal of fossil free production by 2030.

Russia’s cruel war in Ukraine has not had a marked impact on our business or financial position. Our paperboard sales previously directed to Russia have been successfully reallocated to new markets, and the supply of raw materials – mainly wood and energy – from other sources to our mills has proceeded normally. Naturally, we are most concerned about the people suffering because of the war.

In September, we started preliminary planning to substantially increase our folding boxboard capacity in Kaskinen, Finland. If completed, the investment will be in line with our strategy of growing in fibre-based materials and renewing our industrial operations. We aim to build the world’s most resource-efficient paperboard mill and meet the growing demand for packaging that replaces plastic with packaging solutions that promote the circular economy.”

Key figures
2022 2021 2022 2021 2021
Q3 Q3 Q1–Q3 Q1–Q3 Q1–Q4
Sales, EUR million 647.3 516.1 1,879.7 1,565.6 2,084.1
EBITDA, EUR million 177.1 125.4 503.1 357.4 466.0
  comparable, EUR million 176.1 125.4 486.1 363.1 472.2
EBITDA, % of sales 27.4 24.3 26.8 22.8 22.4
  comparable, % of sales 27.2 24.3 25.9 23.2 22.7
Operating result, EUR million 153.4 99.4 436.8 285.0 375.9
  comparable, EUR million 152.5 104.0 420.0 295.3 386.6
Operating result, % of sales 23.7 19.3 23.2 18.2 18.0
  comparable, % of sales 23.6 20.1 22.3 18.9 18.6
Result before taxes, EUR million 152.4 96.4 431.5 275.1 365.8
  comparable, EUR million 151.6 100.9 414.7 285.4 376.6
Result for the period, EUR million 132.9 85.4 371.7 235.5 314.0
  comparable, EUR million 132.1 89.0 356.3 245.0 326.6
Earnings per share, EUR 0.33 0.22 0.94 0.63 0.82
  comparable, EUR 0.33 0.23 0.90 0.65 0.85
Return on equity, % 26.4 19.7 24.9 19.8 19.4
  comparable, % 26.3 20.6 23.9 20.6 20.2
Return on capital employed, % 24.9 18.2 23.9 18.7 18.2
  comparable, % 24.7 19.1 23.0 19.4 18.7
Equity ratio 1), % 64 65 64 65 63
Net gearing 1), % 4 -1 4 -1 -4
Interest-bearing net liabilities/comparable EBITDA 0.2 -0.1 0.2 -0.1 -0.2
Shareholders’ equity per share 1), EUR 5.53 4.63 5.53 4.63 4.78
Interest-bearing net liabilities 1), EUR million 91.2 -24.8 91.2 -24.8 -78.4
Total investment, EUR million 45.2 35.3 227.0 133.6 220.2
Net cash flow from operations, EUR million 66.4 59.1 161.7 209.8 329.6
Personnel 1) 2,335 2,389 2,335 2,389 2,389
1) At the end of the period


Further information:
Henri Sederholm, CFO, tel. +358 10 465 4913
Katri Sundström, VP, Investor Relations, tel. +358 10 462 0101

Metsä Board’s CEO Mika Joukio and CFO Henri Sederholm will present the interim report in a conference call and webcast held in English on 27 October 2022 at 3:00 p.m. EET.

The presentation material will be available at and at before the start of the conference call.

To ask questions, join the conference call by registering on the following link:

Events in 2022

10 November 2022: Capital Markets Day

Metsä Board

Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards. We focus on lightweight and high-quality folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. The pure fresh fibres we use in our products are a renewable and recyclable resource, that can be traced back to sustainably managed northern forests. We are a forerunner in sustainability, and we aim to have completely fossil free mills and raw materials by the end of 2030.

Together with our customers we develop innovative packaging solutions to create better consumer experiences with less environmental impact. In 2021 our sales totalled EUR 2.1 billion, and we have around 2,400 employees. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

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